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1. Detroit Teen Takes Affirmative Action

Talk about not taking no for an answer! High school senior Brooke Kimbrough is literally this week’s poster child for higher education. When the University of Michigan recently rejected her application, did the Detroit native slink quietly off into the night? Heck no!

According to the Huffington Post, she called the admissions board out on their potential discrimination, going so far as to hold a news conference and rally to protest their decision with two other students.

Kimbrough says her rejection doesn’t make sense when you look at her record, and she has a point. Kimbrough had a 3.6 GPA, scored a 23 out of 36 on the ACT standardized test, was the president of her school’s National Honor Society chapter, and was a member of its award-winning debate team. It seems there may be some other factors in play.

Promising to reveal more rejection letters from other minority students until she is admitted by the university — which has a Black population of less than 5 percent — Kimbrough issued a statement saying, ‘I am appealing my application to the University of Michigan not only for myself, but for other black and minority students who deserve the equal opportunity to go to the best public university in the nation.” Now those are the words of leader.

Good for her, and good for us.

2. Shoes to (Literally) Die For?

While a 17-year-old is rallying against discrimination in Michigan, a 15-year-old is getting shot in New York for apparently trying to cut the line for the new wildly popular“Yeezy” sneakers by Kanye West. Here we go again.

And, of course, to make this even worse it’s a 14-year-old boy that is accused of doing the shooting.

Police say the drama went down outside a Footlocker in Brooklyn, NY, around 6 am Saturday.  Folks had been out there all night, waiting for a chance to cop a pair of Nike Foamposite Pro Premium “Yeezy” shoes when the victim tried to jump into the ridiculously long line. Suddenly, the shooter, upset with the line cutter left and came back with a handgun, firing four times to express his anger.

One of those bullets hit the 15-year-old in the foot he would have worn one of his new sneakers on. Ironic, huh?

3. Little Hero With a Heart the Size of Texas

While we’re out here in the Big Apple risking our lives for a pair of damn sneakers, a 9-year-old boy in Texas is making one of the biggest sacrifices any little kid can make – giving up his PlayStation 4 – to help save the lives of strangers.

The Root reports that Hector Montoya of Dallas had been saving his money for nearly a year with the intention of buying himself a new PlayStation console, but when he saw a news story about a mother and child dying in a house fire because they had no fire alarms, he sprung into action.

Montoya took the money he had saved and bought 100 smoke detectors for local families in need, even working with the Grand Prairie Fire Department to help install them.

The little Good Samaritan got his PlayStation though: two teens heard about Hector’s selflessness and decided to gift it to him. They even threw in another $150 for him to continue his life-saving initiative. Aww!

4. Rotten Eggs

While the children in Texas were busy outdoing each other with their good deeds, some adults in Virginia were working overtime to commit a terrible one.

During an annual Easter egg hunt in a West End neighborhood, parents and children found white supremacist notes wrapped up in Easter eggs.

The Root reports that a family was egg-hunting Sunday with their 3-year-old son when they discovered eggs containing SMH-worthy messages like “diversity = white genocide…mass immigration and forced assimilation of non-whites into our lands is genocide.”

Leave it to racists to pick the holiday celebrating Christian values of acceptance and peace to spread their messages of hate.

5. “They can incarcerate my body but never my mind.” – Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter

And speaking of hate…Boxing legend Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who succumbed to prostrate cancer Sunday, could have hated everybody after being imprisoned for 19 years, locked up for three murders he did not commit.

But instead of allowing the injustice make him bitter following his release from prison (after a long legal fight in 1985), the 76-year-old Toronto native– played by an Oscar-nominated Denzel Washington in 1999’s “The Hurricane” – went on to become a champion for others who had been wrongfully imprisoned.

And that is how you win, ladies and gentleman. No matter what, you never let them beat you.

I’ve spent my entire career as a civil rights activist and anti-violence advocate. I hear from folks all over the country about how fed-up they are—how much they want change—but they don’t know where to start. It’s not enough just to be informed, we’ve got to work tirelessly to do better. With the “The Lookout,” I’ll collect the most important stories and action items that you need to know about and things you can do each week, keeping you involved so you can create positive change for yourself and your community.

I want to hear from you; what’s going on in your community? What stories or events should folks know about? Leave a comment below. 

More About Tamika Mallory

Called “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett, Tamika D. Mallory is a nationally recognized leader and civil rights activist. Tamika is the Founder/President of Mallory Consulting, LLC and the former Executive Director of the National Action Network (NAN), one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations. She is featured regularly as a leading voice on key social justice issues and is currently making headlines around the country for her tireless activism and strong stance on women’s issues, anti-violence, young adult advocacy, and decency. 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: How to Be Your Own Hero and Other Actions You Can Take This Week [The Lookout]  was originally published on